The leader of the Indiana House was greeted with a standing ovation Wednesday as he returned to the Statehouse after undergoing surgery for a knee infection.
Republican Speaker Brian Bosma took the House podium for the first time since March 28, having missed all of last week for the surgery and recovery in a hospital.
"All is well with me," Bosma said after thanking House members, staffers and people around the state for their good wishes during his absence. "I just really appreciate the opportunity to be back with you."
The 55-year-old Bosma missed five days of House floor sessions and kept in touch with other top Republican legislators and staff members with phone calls and electronic messages while he was out for the April 2 surgery on the infection that developed from an artificial knee replacement he had done last summer, aides said.
Bosma returned as the General Assembly approaches its April 29 deadline for adjourning this year's legislative session. Major items still being debated include the new two-year state budget and Republican Gov. Mike Pence's proposed individual income tax cut that Bosma and other GOP legislative leaders have resisted.
Bosma was first elected to the House in 1986 representing a northeastern suburban Indianapolis district and has been the top House Republican — either as speaker or minority leader — since 2001.
Republican and Democratic legislators stood and applauded at the end of Bosma's remarks at the start of Wednesday's House session, after which Bosma quipped, "We'll see how long that lasts."